History of Fanlu
Fanlu was built atop the ruins of a much older settlement, a fortress called Lei Kun (lee coon). Lei Kun was the first of many planned settlements the Tein’Ming built when they settled Yunshan. It sat at the top of the Oldtrade road. During the Tein’Ming and Shinto Dynasties it was literally the gateway to Yunshan. In time, both dynasties would fall, the Oldtrade road would be closed, and a new trade road, further north, would be opened. Lei Kun would be destroyed and abandoned, and Bartertown would rise up as the new gateway to Yunshan.
Fanlu was born of a dream. The Ruins of Lei Kun were a dangerous place, a haven for bandits, evil spirits and monsters. Most men would steer far clear of Lei Kun, but for the merchants of The Brotherhood of the Southern Route, Lei Kun was a road block. To get their goods to Bartertown the brotherhood caravans had to go past the ruins. For years they dreamed of clearing them out and building an outpost there so they could run caravans up to Bartertown.
There came a time when an evil wujen named Magori came to rule over the ruins, served by a vast host of evil allies. A brave group of heroes defeated Magori and a few aspiring members of the Brotherhood saw a chance to change history. They pulled their wealth together to hire the same band that had defeated Magori. They issued a challenge;
“Let us finish the job! Clear out the dark heart of these cursed ruins, drive away the evil remnants of Magori’s hosts who still shelter here. You know they wait to boil out and spread evil again should we leave this job undone. Let us clear out Lei Kun, and let us turn this cursed place into an outpost for mankind…a safe haven for merchants and pilgrims, and anyone who would travel the Southern Route”
These the words of the man behind the mission, a merchant of the brotherhood named Yoritomo. These merchant-warriors strapped on their blades and went into the ruins alongside the heroes, eager to do some of the work themselves. They were risking everything they had, lives included, to achieve something truly amazing, to change the map. Together these bold men born of humble beginnings, joined forces with the heroes who defeated Magori and cleared out the Ruins of Lei Kun. They would be known forever more as the Founders.
Among the Founders were Grey’s parents and uncle, Evon, Kito Tai Shan, and the Mayor Yoritomo. They did indeed finish what they started, driving out the humanoid tribes and their wujen masters. They cleared out the ruins, and made them safe for settlement. As a reward for what they had done, the Brotherhood of the Southern Route awarded them large pieces of land in the fledgling settlement. Some sold this land and moved on, but many of the heroes built homesteads and settled down in the new town of Fanlu. As the founders where building their homes, so too the Brotherhood was building stables, warehouses, watchtowers and roadhouses. In less than a year, Fanlu grew into a little town of several hundred, and it stayed that way for many years…
The Gateway to Yunshan in those days was The Newtrade Road, which led up a long pass through the western mountains to Bartertown. All trade that went in or out of Yunshan passed through this narrow point. But the Newtrade Road was not the only way to get goods in and out of Yunshan. There was an older route, know coincidently as the Oldtrade road. This route connected with Fanlu at its western gate, but it was haunted, and so dangerous that reopening it was considered by most impossible. The Brotherhood knew if they could reopen it, they wouldn’t need Bartertown anymore. They could finally build their empire of trade, no longer under the thumb of the northern merchants. It took nearly 70 years of careful planning to accomplish. Many pieces had to fall in place before it was possible.
During that 70 years, King Ottomi was born, and would build his city of Otto (Oh-Tow) at the far west end of the Oldtrade road. He united the clans of lower and Upper Shinto, and the Notari (No Tar-ee) horsemen of the plains further west, bringing a sort of order to those lands. During the same years, The House of Pacified Shadows grew from an obscure shrine to a powerful order that could field hundreds of warrior monks. Ottomi brought some order to the western lands the Oldtrade road passed through, and the warrior monks did the same for the eastern end. It took a complicated set of alliances, treaties, and circumstances, far too complex to describe here, but the Brotherhood of the Southern Route did the unimaginable, they reopened the Oldtrade Road, and thus a 2nd route into Yunshan.
This changed everything. The Brotherhood no longer needed to do business with the northern merchants or Bartertown. Their little outpost of Fanlu grew into a boom town, from 200, to 1000, and finally to 7000 nine years after the pass was first opened. There is much more to the history of Fanlu. Many ups and downs along the way. Many fortunes and misfortunes. Many mysteries and legends to its past, but these remain to be discovered.